February 28, 2022

WHY IS BIDEN SIDING WITH PUTIN? “President Biden’s ambassador at the United Nations, in a startling development, is siding with Russia against Ukraine’s challenge to Russia’s standing as a permanent member of the Security Council capable of vetoing its resolutions.”

Okay, actually I understand what’s going on here, but there’s some nice lawyering by the Ukrainians:

The Ukrainians are arguing that, in actuality, the United Nations Charter — the foundational treaty of the world body — does not list Russia as a member of either the Security Council or any other part of the UN. The membership of the Security Council is listed in the treaty’s article 23. It says:

“The Security Council shall consist of fifteen Members of the United Nations. The Republic of China, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America shall be permanent members of the Security Council.”

No resolution to change that was passed in 1991, when the USSR collapsed and Russia, in a letter to the UN secretary general, claimed the USSR’s security council seat, which is precisely the point Ukraine is making. . . . The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a confederation of 15 countries. During its existence only Ukraine and Belarus voted independently of the Soviet Union. USSR members that are now independent countries — including the Baltic states that are now members of NATO — might have as much of a claim as Russia to the USSR’s permanent seat.

Ambassador Thomas Greenfield’s error as to what the charter says stands in sharp contrast to the written record pointed out by Ambassador Kyslytsya. He pointed out the language of the charter in an open meeting of the Security Council Thursday, when Ms. Thomas Greenfield was present.

America’s resistance to that interpretation of the charter is especially curious as countries around the globe — inspired by the bravery of the Ukrainian people and their president, Volodymyr Zelensky — play catch-up in the effort to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on Russia.

The Security Council is due to gather this afternoon to take to the General Assembly an American resolution that Russia vetoed late last week. In the Assembly, which includes all 193 UN members, no country has a veto power. None of its resolutions, however, can be enforced. Unlike Security Council resolutions, Assembly votes are mostly toothless declarations.

Nice legal work, even though it won’t carry the day.

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.